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Hardball With Chris Matthews

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Fbi 16, Us 11, Angie 10, United States 8, Pat Toomey 5, U.s. 5, Boston 5, Dzhokhar 4, Christie 4, Erica 4, Hilton 4, Kelly Ayotte 4, Gitmo 3, Rendell 3, Kellogg 3, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev 3, Pete Williams 2, Jim Cavanaugh 2, Dagestan 2, Erica Lafferty 2,
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  MSNBC    Hardball With Chris Matthews    News/Business.   
   (2013) New. (CC)  

    May 1, 2013
    2:00 - 3:01pm PDT  

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picks things up right now. friends. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. whose side are you on? the side of terrorists who attacked hundreds of people killing three, wounding dozens and dozens more, or are you on the side of the country you're living in, the country you've come to studty in, learn from, become an adult in? on the side of the person identified as the killer or on the side of those he killed and those he deliberately tried to kill. before someone starts singing that's what friends are for, i encourage a deeper grasp on what we may well be looking at here. it's disturbing enough we have two brothers here suspected of turning on the people of the country that gave them a home. now we have the prospect of another trio trying to cover it up.
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hiding a suspected masked terrorist who could well have gone on to more mass terrorism. this is serious even if the suspects weren't. pete williams is nbc news chief justice correspondent. pete, this case, it's hard to read. what can you read in it? we have three new suspects. a couple of them for obstructing justice, perhaps another for not telling the truth to federal investigators. >> right. well, everyone emphasizes here that there's no indication they had anything to do with the bombing itself. there's no suggestion here that they knew about it in advance or were in any way involved in the bombing. this all has to do with what happens afterward. according to the fbi, these three were all friends of the younger of the two bombing suspects, dzhokhar tsarnaev. and they say that after the bombing, they were texting with one of the -- the younger bombing suspect. and said that the pictures that the fbi had put out looked a lot like him. according to the fbi he texted back, "lol." and "take whatever you want from
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my dorm room." they say they went to the dorm room. they took out a backpack. they looked inside, saw that it had empty fireworks tubes. so they decided to take the backpack and they took it to their apartment, the two -- the two students who were here on student visas, took it to their apartment in new bedford. this is what the fbi says was inside. the fbi eventually found it. but they say they kept it at the apartment and then after they saw the news reports friday morning, that the two bombing suspects had been identified as tamerlan and dzhokhar tsarnaev, they decided to throw the backpack away and the fbi says it found it five days ago in the landfill in new bedford. the two are the exchange students, azamat tar zi kov and dias kadyrbayev. the third student identified as an american citizen, robel phillipos of cambridge. the two exchange students are charged with obstruction of justice. fi low piece is charged with
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making he ining misleading stat investigators. their lawyers -- they've had a brief court appearance. their lawyers came out and said they were not trying to cover up a bombing. that they had no idea that these things were of evidentiary value. >> that's what they would say. >> that's what they did say. >> it's also what they would say. it's called a defense attorney. >> right. they completely denied the charges. and they say they -- they sympathize with the people of boston and they are shocked and horrified as anyone. >> let me ask you this. is there another charge they could have been hit with? for example, accessory after the fact? >> if -- yes. if the fbi was convinced that they knew about the bombing and did this in order to cover it up. but the charges don't go that far. >> why not? let me just try a point of law here. if we know they covered up the backpack and very well presumably because they knew it was part of the evidence because they saw it on tv, they saw everything on tv, that's why they went over to the dormitory
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to remove this stuff, what other possible motive could they have had except to help this person avoid the law. >> my understanding of it is it goes to their state of mind. we've known that the fbi was looking at these young people for the last week or so. and trying to decide whether this was simply turning a blind eye or -- or having some additional knowledge. the fbi does not allege in these court documents that the younger tsarnaev told them he was involved in the bombing. this was their own suspicion. they thought, boy, you know, maybe he might have been involved. we better do this. i think that may be the dividing line. of course, remember, that the government can always revise these charges later if it learns more. >> yeah. okay. that's why i asked. because the government put the face out of the tsarnaev brothers in order to help apprehend them. and these people took that information from the fbi being on television and used it to help them get away with it.
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this isn't some casual thing -- i mean, it seems to me it was a deliberate act to go to the dorm, a deliberate act to hide the stuff, a deliberate act to put it in the dumpster and they were caught. now they're saying they didn't want to do what they obviously did want to do which is to help this guy they knew get -- here's a larger question. do you think the fbi is trying to establish their mind set in terms of islamist terrorism? is there any evidence they came from kazakhstan, an islamic dominated area, they may have shared sympathies with the jihad? >> if that is their suspicion, there is absolutely nothing in court documents today about anything of that nature. it's limited solely to their actions. but a couple other things emerge from the court documents, chris, that i should just mention here. >> sure. >> one of the most interesting things, i thought, was that one of them said that he and cz tsarnaev and some of their other friends set off fireworks a couple of months ago along the charles river. and that two foreign students said that a month before the bombing tsarnaev told them that
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he knew how to make a bomb. >> wow. and they did find the material. they found the fireworks that had been emptied of the powder. >> they -- they found the empty fireworks tubes in his backpack and decided, according to the fbi -- the fbi puts it -- the fbi puts it very squarely. they say right then and there, the students decided that tsarnaev must have been involved and they were going to hide this information to help him. of course, his lawyers, as i mentioned, denied that that was their motive. >> what's interesting is something you said earlier. i heard this morning. later this afternoon, rather. the third suspect who's charged basically with not giving honest testimony to the federal authorities, he might face a larger penalty. maybe it's an eight year term rather than a five year because that's considered more serious, dishonest testimony in an interview, than hiding evidence? that seems odd. >> it's -- it's obstruction of justice. that's a five year max. lying to federal agents carries an eight year max. you know, there are strange
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reasons why the penalties are the way they are. >> yeah. >> and i don't know, as i say, whether down the road here, this is just the very beginning of a long process for these three, whether the fbi will file additional charges or what. they certainly can. the next step will be an indictment before a grand jury. and the fwovt could file new charges anywhere along the line. >> well said. thanks so much, pete, as always. great reports. pete williams, justice correspondent for nbc news. attorneys for two of the suspects gave a brief press conference after the hearing. here's what they said. >> dias kadyrbayev absolutely denies the charges as we've said from the very beginning. he assisted the fbi in this investigation. he is just as shocked and horrified by the violence in boston that took place as the rest of the community is. >> my client, azamat t, feels - just like many other individuals who were interviewed on campus.
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he has cooperated fully with the authorities. and looks forward to the truth coming out in this case. >> that's one reason or two reasons not ever to be a criminal lawyer. anyway, now for more on this story, retired atf agent jim cavanaugh, nbc news analyst. i'm going to ignore all that stuff by those two guys. that's what criminal attorneys are paid to do. fair enough. act like your clients are completely innocent even though they basically admitted all this. anyway, let me get to this question here of the evidence, the bombing evidence, and how you put it together here. of course, the question of motive. we do think based upon the conversation we've gotten evidence from here that the tsarnaev brothers were moved by jihad. that a political agenda here. it's hard in all fairness to understand why these three kids helped them. but it may well be part -- they may be part of it as well. your naugthoughts, jim? >> i think you're right, chris. i think their participation is clearly laid out in the complaint. i think that's probably exactly
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what they did. if they were around dzhokhar has friends and visiting his house, they heard his talk. you know, you can't be around a guy who's immersed in that kind of political ideology that dzhokhar was and tamerlan was and not hear their talk. you're going to hear their talk. >> hear he knows how to make a bomb. >> right. you also say he knows how to make a bomb. when the pictures were released by the fbi and the task force, they concluded, oh, they must be the bombers. defense counsel says they were shocked. they were just shocked too late. they were shocked too late. they first were getting rid of the evidence, you know. i think that's their participation here is obstructing and conspireing. and they've been caught at it which is a good thing for our fight against terrorism because you can't help the terrorist even afterwards. >> i think the police are doing a good job here. these people that are jumping them all over at the press conference, that's what people have to do in our business. but i am really impressed. they had a bead on these guys back -- they had apparently a violation of their visa agreement, student visa agreement. they were holding them.
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now they're offering a rather low level charge to basically keep them from flight risk, i assume. at some point they're going to figure out if they can go with stronger charges perhaps involving their motive and perhaps their sympathy for the bombing itself. who knows. clearly they're doing this plotingly and they're effectively widening the information we're getting about what happened here. >> well, you're exactly right, chris. we talked the other day about it, but it's leadership at all levels. just for a sense or two in new york political world, me being a cop, take people like eric holder and bob mueller constantly being beat up in the press and they led the task force. it's a great job. you've got to give them their due. they did a great job. it's not easy on that end either or in boston. the u.s. attorney did a great job. the chief. the follow-up here i think is excellent. i really don't think there's a big mystery of what these players did today. the questions that really come down to the commanders are where's the hard drive? i'm not convinced.
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i don't know where it is. maybe the agents even have the hard drive. they just went silent in the complaint. they found the backpack and the stuff's in the backpack. maybe the hard -- maybe the computer was in the backpack. they could have it or they could not -- >> where is the laptop? i thought that was part of the -- the material that was moved out of the apartment? >> right. it's not mentioned in the complaint. the reason that this was so serious, this obstruction, remember, if dzhokhar and tamerlan didn't get in a shoot out with the transit police and watertown police, they could have escaped. these associates could have reported them. these are our friends and these are the bombers. if you're going to let them get away you're also going to let them get away to bomb again. because they had other bombs. it's more than serious to let them get away. >> if you get ahold of that laptop what would you be looking for? any contacts in the form of soviet union. somewhere in dagestan? any kind of conversation with the mother of both of these young men? you'd be looking for what else? >> martyr video.
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i'd be looking for a martyr video. i'm not so sure that couldn't have been made some time. may even be one in russia from tamerlan. certainly all of the interconnecting lines is what the intelligence community and the counterterrorism center and the fbi want. they want to know who you talking to domestically, who you talking to in dagestan, what sites are you reading? we know they're probably reading "inspire" magazine because the bomb is 80% blueprint out of that. >> which is al qaeda. >> all those things are critical. all those things could interrupt another attack. that's why this obstruction is so serious. it could have helped to stop another attack. >> let's think like criminal investigators here. why -- people say, well, kids are friends with each other. it's us against the world. don't trust anybody over 30 in my generation, you know. the idea of watching -- watching the videos and what happened on boyleston street that day and looking at them and seeing this guy who was in school with you, had came to college with you at the university of massachusetts
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dartmouth, watching what we're watching now, then seeing the harr ror of what happened there and realizing this was an act of jihad and realizing this was a very deliberate, conspired event which is quite horrible. to do it in cold blood and realize someone you know did this thing of blowing people's legs off by the dozens, this horrible thing against people who are also your fellow people in a diverse crowd, i'm sure there's all kinds of people with all kinds of backgrounds in that crowd up in boston. the city's known for that. then to instinctively go running over and try to help them cover up. this isn't to me a friendship act. to me it's an act of enmenty towards the united states. i don't know how you can see it any other way. i don't know how you say it's us against the world unless it's us against the world. in this case the world the united states. your view if you care to offer one. >> that's the exact point here. this is not some kids covering up for a college -- >> he wasn't hung over this
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morning. i'm sorry. >> exactly right. he told them a month before, he made bombs. he probably heard some of his fanatical talk. when we're close to people we hear their ideas. also he sees the picture. he sees the fireworks. the guy tells him -- dzhokhar tells him to take anything you want out of the room. the complaint says that he believed, the student believed he'd never see him alive again. clearly he's decided they're the bombers. that's the seminal act of criminalalty to say now i'm going to help my friend the bomber, the attempted mass murderer, killer, guy flinging a thousand bbs into a thousand people, i'm going to help him get away. that's why the charge is so serious. >> i don't think the charges that have been made so far are serious enough. i don't think obstruction of justice is serious enough. to me it sounds like us the orderly conduct. i think lying to federal investigators is the beginning of the problem. he lied to protect his guilt. that's why he lied. he didn't just lie. he lied in this case to protect guilt. or else why would he have lied?
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so it's the guilt, not the lying, that to me is the paramount issue. if i'm a it willle fired up it's because i do think it's the wrong reaction by american people and people living in this country under our hospitality, dammit. they're here to study so they can better their lives. this is their reaction. this is what they did. they took sides against the people that brought them here and let them live amongst us and help them learn and become better adults, ideally. your thoughts? >> you're right. i agree with everything you said. i think it's important, too, america's fight against terrorists and terrorism that we're going after people who would conspire to help them get away. that's a strong message as well. >> get away scot-free. >> to everybody out there. you're not going to get away. even you try to help them get away. >> nobody's going to let me call them good friends after this baby. thank you, jim cavanaugh. coming up, senator pat toomey says many of us believe why some republicans vote against those wider background checks, not because they disagree with them, because they didn't want to help or even be
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seen helping president obama. why am i not surprised? tonight we'll talk to erica laugherty whose mother is the courageous sandy hook principal who died protecting those kids. she confronted a u.s. senator who voted against that bill. that was a tough moment for her. what do we do about gitmo? this is a tough one. especially around progressives. no country wants to take the prisoners that we have. we can't just let them go, can we? how long can the united states actually hold prisoners without taking them to trial? also, jon stewart said it best. he always does. congress only cares about meals on wheels when those meals are coming down the aisle on a nice airplane. tonight the head of the meals on wheels program himself is coming here to talk about the suffering because of these cuts, because of the sequestration. by now, everyone should know, you don't tug on superman's cape. you don't spit into the wind. and you don't mess around with governor chris christie of new
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♪ u.s. congressman ed markey against republican gabrielle gomez to succeed john kerry in the u.s. senate for massachusetts. markey beat steven lynch 57-43 last night in the democratic primary. gomez a former navy s.e.a.l. who is pro-gun, pro-assault rifle and pro-life took 51% of his primary against two other republicans. gomez is already trying to paint ma markey, a 37 year veteran of congress. mark special election coming up june 25th. we'll be right back. people join angie's list for all kinds of reasons.
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welcome back to "hardball." now we have proof. listen to this. never forget it. the reason some republicans blocked that gun background check legislation is that they just couldn't bring themselves to do anything that might help
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the president. this from pennsylvania senator pat toomey who's a republican, who co-sponsored the legislation. here's what toomey told the editors at digital first media in the offices of the times herald newspaper up in norristown, p.a. quote, in the end it didn't pass because we're so politicized. there were some on my side, the republicans, who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done. just because the president wanted to do it. wow. and the backlash against senators who voted against background checks got personal yesterday at a town hall meeting in new hampshire. senator kelly ayotte faced what could likely be the first of some difficult confrontations about her vote against background checks for gun buyers. and the question came from erica lafferty, whose own mother was principal of sandy hook elementary school and was among those, well, in her case courage sli murdered by gunman adam lanza. let's listen to their exchange.
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>> i know you did take the time to meet with me in your office in washington. i did want to say thank you for that. you have mentioned that day the burden of the owners on gun stores the expanded background checks would cost. i'm just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the hall of her elementary school isn't as important as that? why is that not something that can be supported? >> erica, certainly let me just say that i'm obviously so sorry, and as everyone here, no matter what our views are, for what you have been through. as you and i both know, the issue wasn't a background check system at sandy hook. mental health, i hope, is the one thing that we can agree ongoing forward and getting done. because that seems to be an overriding issue in all of this. >> as we'll show you later,
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despite that exchange and the polling, it is not at all clear which party has the advantage when it comes to guns. erica lafferty joining me now. also former pennsylvania governor and msnbc contributor, ed rendell. erica, like everybody else that watched yesterday that standoff between yourself and senator ayotte, we were very impressed. you are a civilian, a regular person, not used to political exchange. i think you made your point quite well. tell us again what drove you to that particular moment and to that courageous confrontation. >> i initially went up because i had seen her in her office the day after she voted no. and was really just looking for an explanation as to why she did that and just like she did yesterday, she avoided the question and just kind of circled back to something that was completely irrelevant to what i was asking. >> it seems to me she does -- in all fairness, she's a politician like everybody else we cover. she doesn't seem to have an answer. because she voted to allow the
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debate to go on only to vote against the only thing on the table that might -- might pass. so you have to wonder why she wanted the debate if she intended to make sure nothing got done. >> yeah. i honestly just feel like she doesn't answer any question. i think maybe she is still unsure about why she voted, other than that's what everyone else was doing. it really just seems like she has no defense. every time she's asked the same question, it's a different answer over and over. >> i assume you've come, given the tragedy in your family, again, your mother must have been an amazing person. an amazing person. because to confront horror without any warning, without any sort of being pumped up and just instantly know the right thing to do and to know your human duty is an amazing thing. >> absolutely. >> let me ask you about the politics. what do you think you can get done for your mom in the months ahead? >> background checks is what was recently on the table and what
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i'm hoping is the next thing to be brought back up. so absolutely i will see that through. you know, mental health, i have been saying since the very beginning that that is a huge piece to this puzzle. so those are definitely my -- my two main focus areas. >> let me bring in governor rendell. despite the hits that some senators are -- seem to be taking for opposing expanded background checks, which to me seems minimal, it's not at all clear, governor, democrats are the favorite party on guns. i like the quinnipiac poll. respondents say republicans in congress can do a better job of handling gun policy than democrats can. now, it's narrow, but after all this controversy and the disagreement between the 90% who want background checks and all the republicans, what, 46 of them voted, you have to wonder that disagreement doesn't pay a price here? >> i think it's the way the
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question's framed. i think people don't -- on handling the gun issue, i think when the question is are you for universal mandatory background checks, people are overwhelmingly for them. and i think the theory is that the people care about universal background checks, we're all going to go away by 2014. only the rapid second amendment forces are going to vote on that issue. they're wrong. let me make a prediction right now, chris. unless there's a revote, unless kelly ayotte changes her vote, she will not be re-elected. we are not going away. we are not forgetting about this. there's a rally -- the borderline between bucks in montgomery coming up on saturday. it's going to be a big rally. we're not going to let this issue die. we love the fact pat toomey had the courage to take this on but pat toomey shouldn't say it's over. it's not over. we can get a revote. we can win this. we need pat toomey to stand up
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the way he stood up the first time. we're not going away this time. newtown changed so much for so many americans. people like me and mayor bloomberg have been working on it for ten years. we now are joined by people who understand the issue that -- the reason kelly ayotte, i hope erica understands that. the reason that she has no answer is because there is no answer. there's no good answer except i'm a coward or except i let partisanship get in the way of it because i hate the president. neither of those answers is acceptable. >> you know, erica, i think the calculation of people like the senator you dressed yesterday so forcefully, and i approve of everything, in fact, i rallied what you did, is their calculation i think is this. what the governor just said. in the past, before what happened up at newtown, the people cared about gun control like me when i wrote a letter to my congressman after bobby kennedy was killed, lasted a few months. then i cared more about the vietnam war or civil rights. and i moved around to other issues. i think that's your challenge,
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erica. to keep people focused on the gun safety issue. >> absolutely. i'm not going to let people forget about my mom or forget about the other five educators or those 20 kids. and it's -- it's disgusting that she's letting, you know, a personal vendetta against someone really just dismiss the murder of my mother. it's disgusting. >> yeah. to say that she cares more about the gun shop owners, that was an amazing statement you brought out. >> yeah. she was concerned about their burden. >> keep it up. >> chris, erica should know that there are -- erica should know that there are millions of americans with her. we are not going away this time. we are not going away. and that's a message to kelly ayotte. it's a message to rob portman. it's a message to a lot of democrats, those four democrats who didn't vote for us. they better vote the right way if there's a revote or we've got to get a revote. >> absolutely. >> i think we need a permission structure, to use the president's latest phrase, to get these guys and women back
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into game again. a permission structure where they can find a way to say, i was sort of right but now i'm going to be really right. i'm going to do it right this time. erica, great to meet you. you are a star for me right now obviously. your mom must have been unbelievable. >> she was. thank you. >> ed rendell, as always, sir, thank you. we'll be right back after this. you hurt my feelings, todd.
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if you have symptoms that last two weeks or longer, be brave, go to the doctor. ovarian and uterine cancers are gynecologic cancers. symptoms are not the same for everyone. i got sick...and then i got better. welcome back to "hardball." governor chris christie, of course, has a reputation for speaking his mind. and yesterday we got some vintage christie when the governor spoke at a town hall in long beach island. first the back story. ever since superstorm sandy wreaked havoc last year new jersey wanted to create a system of protective sand dunes along it's 127 mile atlantic coast. some homeowners don't want to sign easements giving the state permission to build the dunes. they say the government will eventually decide to use the
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easements to build board walks, public bathrooms and other beach projec projects. christie didn't mince words on that point yesterday. >> i don't want to build a road. i don't want to build a bathroom. i don't want to build a shower. i don't want to build a hut. i don't want to build anything except a dune, okay? any knuckle head neighbor of yours who is telling you, you sign that easement, christie's coming in here, he's building showers for people, a bathroom there, a hotdog stand. before you know it there's going to be a dairy queen. i'm telling you, it's going to be unbelievable. let me use a word that is indelicate. and there's some children here. i see one. there may be more. cover their ears. [ muted ]! okay? that's what it is. sorry, dude. >> sorry, dude. you got to keep saying sorry, dude. finally, i hope this governor christie keeps on that very narrow tricky zone he's in right
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now. it's fun to hear, but it could be politically self-destructive. a very narrow line he's walking. hope he stays on it. up next, closing guantanamo bay. lucky for him, i hope. guantanamo bay. president obama says he still wants to get it done. get rid of gitmo. how you going to do it? this is really tricky and it could be morally right but technically it's going to be a tricky one. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] book ahead and save up to 20 percent at doubletree.com, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy. doubletree by hilton. where the little things mean everything.
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i'm mary thompson with your cnbc market wrap. stocks began the month with a sell off. dow slides 138. s&p falls 14. nasdaq loses 29. the federal reserve says it will keep interest rates unchanged and will continue its bond buying program. the measures will remain in place until the labor market improves. speaking of the labor market, payroll firm adp says the private sector added 119,000
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jobs last month. well below estimates. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." what do you do about the 166 men now being detained at the prison in guantanamo bay. it's one of the most vexing national security and political dilemmas president obama faces right now. the president came into office, of course, in 2009 promising to shut gitmo. the vast majority of the detainees have not been tried and will likely never be tried. 86 have been designated for potential transfer to other countries either detention facilities in their home countries or conditional release of some kind. parole or whatever. some kind of detention. i'm not sure what. but tensions boiled over in february when several of the men began a hunger strike down there. and today that number has grown to 100 prisoners now at gitmo in a hunger strike.
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death defying hunger strike i should say. according to the pentagon 23 of them are now being force fed which is quite a sight. at his news conference yesterday the president was confronted with this. he reiterated his conviction the facility down there at gitmo should be closed. that's an ideal thing. he doesn't tell us how. let's watch. >> gawn tauantanamo is not nece to keep america safe. it is expensive. it is inefficient. it hurts us in terms of our international standing. itlessens cooperation with our allies on counterterrorism efforts. it is a recruitment tool for extremists. it needs to be closed. and i'm going to re-engage with congress to try to make the case that this is not something that's in the best interest of the american people. >> well, all this may be in the best interest of the american people, but the problem of what to do with the detainees down there remains. there seems to be no good solutions right now.
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maybe we'll get some in a minute. morris davis former chief prosecutor for terrorism trials. dan kleinman, very respected writer, wrote "kill or capture." i want you both to get in on this. i want to learn. morris, what do we do with all the people down there? if we can bring some to trial, we bring them to trial here. that's the easy part. what do we do with people we know from interviews -- >> if we know they're dangerous, we've got to kind of evidence, we ought to be able to prosecute them in court. as the president said yesterday and as he said back in '08 -- >> what's the charge? >> that's what we're going to have to figure out. >> can you come up with a charge and railroad them? you know they want to blow up buildings but they haven't blown one up yet. how do we charge them? >> there's got to be some basis to have that opinion. some evidence, some act they've taken in the past, material support. >> they say i'm a member of al qaeda. i'm out to blow up your country. if you let me out of here i'm going to kill you. >> a lot of people say nutty stuff. >> you're suggesting you let them go.
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>> i'm suggesting either you charge them or let them go. >> let them go. fair enough. i know that's a civil liberties argument. i've heard it from my family members. in other words, if you can't make a case that books them, puts them away for serious time, let them go. >> would you tolerate it for -- >> i ask the questions. where would you put them? where would you let them go? >> i would put them -- >> open the door. give them 100 bucks and a new suit and say get on the next plane out of the country? what do you do with them? >> we owe them a debt to help them get re-established wherever they go. >> what should we do? >> we need to repay treeua trey ones we can. >> to we trust the government of yemen? >> it's a -- >> you think they'll protect us from the people we send back there? >> well, life is full of risk. i think we got to take some risk -- >> if you were president of the united states, okay. i get your position. if you were president of the united states, you would either convict people you can of felony charges or release them? >> we used to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. >> i hear the argument. i know the music.
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i'm just trying to get the lyrics. let me go to dan. your view on this, to get a sense of your thinking on this if you've studied it. >> it's interesting. the question you were just raising is the same question that barack obama was asking in that first year of his first term which is if these guys are so dangerous, why can't bejust prosecute them? the answer was, well, we don't have the evidence to prosecute them. that doesn't mean they're not dangerous. we've got intelligence -- >> why are you laughing? do you think that's funny? >> i'm not laughing. >> go ahead. what do you do with that situation? if you believe as he does -- let's assume the president believes what he says. >> yeah. he's profoundly -- >> suppose he believes they're dangerous. what's he do? >> what he's done is he's embraced indefinite detention. which his supporters on the left are very unhappy with. and i think he's unhappy about it. >> so what should he do? >> well, what they've done is to set up these periodic review boards. they're not courts. but it's an administrative court in a sense where these people
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who are being held indefinitely can go to them and say, you know, review the case against them and with the hope that at some point they can be released. those have not begun yet. and it's unclear when they will. that's one thing he can do. he's got a lot of other things he can do in terms of transferring some of these people. the yemenis, for example, if he worked closely with the yemeni government, there's a new government there that works much better with us. perhaps they could have worked with them to set up prisons that were more secure. perhaps they could have set up some kind of -- >> what's our record been with people we've released to that part of the world? what's our record been? >> it's not great. >> do we know they won't come back and join the terrorist groups? >> let me tell you this. recidivism rate for terrorists is is lower than it is for criminals in the united states. you assume a certain amount of risk. >> 28%. it's 28%. >> it's much higher, i believe, in the criminal justice system. he's the president of the united states. he's fighting a war. when you fight a war, you do assume some risk as well. >> so you think a guy that's
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been robbing gas stations is the equal risk to a terrorist? >> no. i'm not saying that. >> you just equated them, so you must think so. >> no. i equated the criminal justice system -- >> you said the recidivism rate if it's somehow lower or hower it's -- >> chris, i'm not arguing with you -- >> you don't think a 28% recidivism rate, in other words you let a suspected terrorist go and he turns out being a terrorist again and it's on your watch, you don't think that's a serious concern for the president of the united states? >> absolutely it's a serious concern. then the question becomes of those people where you want to take a risk, where you're willing to take a risk, what kind of a risk are you willing to take? i think if you got to make those calculations. and at the lower level, some of these people are low level people as opposed to people at much higher levels in these organizations like al qaeda, you know, you might be willing to take that risk. >> last word. ten seconds. what did i say wrong? why am i wrong? >> we got to go back and be americans. stand up and give people due
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process and live by american values. >> great. thank you. i appreciate your values. i disagree with your deductions, though. thank you, morris davis and dan klaidman. this will be an interesting fight which i'll conclude with at the end of the show. up next, the head of mooeea on wheels. his program is helping the people and he's suffering because of those automatic sequester cuts. the poorest people. old people. people stuck in homes that can't get out even to go buy some groceries. these people are being fed by this program meals on wheels. a lot of southern conservatives even like this program. not just the northern liberals. the program's getting screwed so that the air travelers can get a break on air traffic controllers. anyway, this is "hardball," the place for politics. come here, boy.
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you don't have to go to extremes to protect your dog from parasites. you need trifexis. visit our website to save up to $25. available by prescription from your veterinarian. here's another name to add to the list of potential republican presidential candidates next time. ted cruz. doesn't that scare you? texas tea party senator is considering a run in 2016. according to national reviews, robert costa. cruz is considered a conservative star by some but rankled some of his own party going public after a closed door republican meeting and calling his colleagues squishes. what high school are we in? we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] it's 7am and steve is already thinking about tomorrow.
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why, perchance, that part of the sequester? >> a sequester? >> a few hours after heading to the airport for a week-long recess. >> oh, right, because it's the problem from the sequester that affects them. they don't care about meals on wheels unless it's rolling down an aisle. >> anybody could make fun of that but only one guy did. the guy is brilliant. back to "hardball," it's hard to beat that line by stewart, self-centerness runs congress. as soon as they are inconvenienced, as with flight delays, they act. when it comes to the poor and the old who really depend on
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these government programs, that's not so urgent. in addition to meals on wheels, the subsidized service, the following programs were also hit. right now, funding for public housing assistance, special education, head start program, kids at risk, it helps preschoolers. it's all in trouble right now. vincent is the chairman of the board and directors of meals and wheels and david corn is an msnbc analyst. this guy actually does something. >> he does something. >> i've always liked meals on wheels because it's understandable. people stuck at home because of alzheimer's, diabetes, any reason they can't get out and go to the store, you bring a meal around. >> that's exactly right. >> what's happening now? >> we are challenged. sequester is hurting in a big, big way. i was so glad to hear you say it was a partially subsidized
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program, meals on wheels. they receive less than 30% of their funding from government moneys. >> how many people rely on you? >> we serve over a million meals a day. >> it's one thing to be old, in your 70s, late 70s, early 80s. once you hit late 80s, you get really elderly. >> how about 89, 102. >> you're stuck. >> that's correct. >> and you're running out of money? >> that's correct. >> and these are not people that can shout out in the streets and make sure that capitol hill knows what is going on. you're shut in. >> what is the meal like? >> it's good. it's healthy. >> it's not like an unhealthy pizza? >> no. it pack as lot of punch because it's probably the obama meal they'll eat all day. >> how does it come in. >> most are served around the noon hour. some receive multiple meals a day. some are seven days a week. >> how do you get these meals
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delivered? it says on meals. >> we have 2 1/2 million volunteers out there delivering. that's a lot of miles. >> great feeling when you get from that. >> that's right. >> when you show up for lunch. >> that's right. >> see what happens when you do good work all day? here's the numbers, the sequester. the president is talking about a permission structure. he's going to try to find a way for the republicans to back down off of their no new taxes thing. is he going to do that or are they going to be stuck? >> i don't see a way out here for the republicans. the president made a calculation early on which in the real world seemed like a reasonable calculation that to get the debt ceiling, you know, lifted and get that deal done, the republicans would agree to come together and negotiate a deal. negotiate a big deal. that deal didn't come through. each side would get some pain. on the republican side, it would be defense cuts.
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on the democratic side, programs that republicans don't care much about. each side had some skin in the game to do something to avoid this. six months later, the republicans say, you know what, if it's between pentagon cuts or protecting tax breaks for the rich, we'll go with the rich. that was a big surprise. vince sent was telling me before the show, in the recent past, this used to be a bipartisan group. >> what happens with bipartisan support for meals on wheels? when did the republicans fall off the wagon. >> it's been challenging during this budgetary crisis time. other than that, i can't tell you. >> who is fighting for you? >> we have all across the board. all across the board. but it's not -- >> is there any leader in congress we should salute for helping you? anybody making the case? >> well, we are nonpartisan. >> let me ask you a question. what do you tell an older person, 75-year-old woman whose
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husband died ten years ago and she's relying on these meals? what do you tell her when you tell her it's the last meal she's going to get? >> we tell her it's a real challenge and we're doing everything to keep her in the home. >> do you have a cut off people? >> we are slowly putting people on the waiting list. we are reducing the number of days they get the friendly knock on the door with a hot meal in hand. >> what is the favorite meal? >> depends on what part of the country you're in. >> okay. oklahoma. >> well, they -- something with mashed potatoes and gravy goes a long way. >> sounds like a comfort meal. >> there's an important point. when you start cutting it off, people don't get their nutrition and their health care increases and you pay for that. you pay for that. >> what a good guy you are. what a good cause. if life could be so great. anyway, thank you.
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when we return, you may disagree with the people people we had on, honest disagreement. i'm not as clear as they are. place for politics. back in a minute. [ lorenzo ] i'm lorenzo.
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let me finish tonight with this, gitmo must go, but where? that's the scare. move the prisoners where you can put on trial to the states. okay. but the republicans won't agree with that. not in my backyard, they say, or
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send the prisoners we can't put on trial to other countries. but what country is willing to take them or i should say, what country do we trust to keep an eye on them? this is a real problem. in the old day we released prisoners of war when the war was over. they go home. when is this war going to be over? this war on terrorism? if they were simply criminals, we could incarcerate them and then let them go. when are we able to release people that are determined to go to war the day they go out? i'm open for new ideas and we need them. that's all for now. "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. >> thanks, chris. breaking news. three college friends of dzhokhar tsarnaev have been arrested and charged in a boston federal courthouse. this is brand-new video showing the suspects being ledro